Longtime Alabama Marine Resources director dies, Press Register, December 30, 2010:
Vernon "Vern" Minton, who directed the state’s Marine Resources Division for 20 years before taking an extended leave of absence in recent months due to health problems, died Monday, 5 days short of his official retirement.
He was 61 years old, and had worked just over half those years for the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Bolton: Vern Minton made fishing in the Gulf of Mexico off Alabama coast better, Birmingham News, January 09, 2011:
Minton, the director of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Marine Resources Division, passed away a few days ago at the age of 61. A knee replacement was followed by staph infection and his health kept getting worse. It just doesn't seem possible that such a thing could take down the likes of the 6-foot-6 Minton.
Before taking his leave of absence, Minton was an important part of Alabama's response to the oil disaster.
Swim advisory lifted on Dauphin Island; brown shrimp season likely weeks away, Press-Register, June 19, 2010:
On June 4, a no swimming advisory was issued for Alabama Gulf waters and in bay waters immediately adjacent to Fort Morgan. On June 9, the no swimming advisory was expanded to include Bayou St. John, Terry Cove, Cotton Bayou, Old River or in Alabama waters west of the Dauphin Island Bridge, also known as Mississippi Sound. ...
Because waters of the Mississippi Sound have been closed to seafood harvesting, biologists are concentrating on sampling brown shrimp in lower Mobile Bay and areas to the east, hoping to open the season as soon as shrimp reach a 68-per-pound state requirement, said Vernon Minton, director of Alabama Marine Resources.
"We saw a lot of little shrimp, they are really close to being legal, but they are not legal yet," Minton said Friday. "We're going to look at them again."
Video: Oil slick in Mobile Bay appears several hundred acres large, Press-Register, June 14, 2010:
Pelicans dove on menhaden swimming in a huge oil slick dotted with globs of emulsified oil of all shapes and sizes Sunday morning in Mobile Bay. The slick appeared to be several hundred acres in size. ...
With so much oil now in the bay, Alabama Marine Resources Director Vernon Minton said he has given up plans to open the state's shrimp season later this week.
Video: Low-oxygen dead zone found on seafloor off Alabama coast, Press-Register, July 04, 2010:
Recent testing by the Press-Register indicates that a low-oxygen dead zone is hugging the seafloor in places along the Alabama coast, with levels far below the threshold required to support life. ...
"The higher the temperature, the less time they can survive those kinds of oxygen levels," said Vern Minton, head of the state's Marine Resources Division, adding that the time frame for many of the creatures would be hours, not days. "It's a significant concern, but not one we can do anything about."